The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Churches
Astrology & Horoscopes
"When our soul departs from life, we shall not be accused because we have not worked miracles, or have not been theologians, or have not seen visions, but we shall all certainly have to give account before God, because we have not wept unceasingly for our sins." St. John Climacus, Author of the Divine Ladder
The Orthodox Tewahedo Christian believer does not have to be a miracle-worker, brilliant theologian or heavenly vision soothsayer or maker, but he/she does have to account for not being aware of their sins. A sin in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church is understood in the spirit of the Greek word "amartia." In Ancient Greece when a person aimed to hit the bull's eye and failed, they called it "amartia" they missed. Falling short of the mark; not reaching your goal; not attaining your purpose is sin. When a Christian does things that keeps them away from Christ thy sin, because they do not live up to his/her purpose and that is, to live in Christ. When we do not live up to our goal-being the image and becoming the likeness of Almighty God, then we sin. When we allow the stars of heaven to guide our actions and not Almighty God, Who created the stars, then we are sinning. When we run to the newspapers to look up our horoscopes and our futures, and do not seek wisdom and learning from the Sacred Scriptures, then we are sinning. When we do, or don't do, this and that, because astrologers say so, and close our ears to Almighty God's Commandments through the teachings of His Church, then we are sinning. We are sinning, when we pray to the One True God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and simultaneously, take somewhat seriously the zodiac. We are not Aquarians, Pisceans or Librans, sons and daughters of stars; we are men and women, sons and daughters of Almighty God, the Most Holy Trinity - The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit!
People are now being to introduce themselves as Arians and Leos no longer as Christians. Isn't it strange that people would rather be named after stars and their constellations, than after Almighty God, the Creator and Source of Life? It is rare today to hear people say, no I'm not of Zodiac I am of God, a Christian; a small Christ. The Church has always preached against astrology.
The Prophet Jeremiah in Chapter 10, Verse 2 writes: "Learn not the way of the unbelievers, nor be dismayed at the signs of the stars because the nations are dismayed at them, for the beliefs of these people are false."
When the Prophet Daniel was confronted by the astrologers of the Assyrians, or Babylonians, from which we have inherited astrology, Daniel answered: "no wise men, enchanters, magicians or astrologers can show to the King Nebuchadnezzar the mystery which he has asked, but only God in Heaven, · Who reveals all mysteries . . ."
Orthodox Canon Law prohibits people from believing in astrology. In fact, Canon Law tells us to cast out of the Church people who make, sell, buy or wear the zodiac signs. The Church Fathers, like the Ancient Greeks, felt that there were "many wonders in the universe, but none more wonderful than man." Mankind is Almighty God's personal image according to Psalm 8: "man was made a little less than God and crowned with glory" in order to have complete dominion over the whole world-stars included. Gregory the Great wrote in the sixth century: "Man was not made for the stars, but rather the stars for man; and if a star can be called the ruler of man, then man must be considered the slave of his own servants."
Almighty God did not create the planets and stars with the intention that they would dominate humanity, but that they, like other creatures, should obey and serve Him.
Augustine, Bishop of Hippo considers astrology a religion of fate which is vehemently condemned by the Church. He felt that anyone who believes that our loving God would give power to stars in order to direct and govern our lives offends Almighty Gods justice and love.
St. John Chrysostom sees this belief in stars as a foolish disbelief against Almighty God's Omnipotence and creativity; Almighty God is not subjected to the stars, He is the Creator of them. St. John Chrysostom also points out, that if we are directed by star power, and then there is no such thing as good or evil, because we do what we do under the stars direction. "This means that God's commandments, that man shall not sin or that man shall do good, comes down to nothing but foolishness."
The Church Fathers bring up the idea of twins, especially Jacob and Esau. They ask "why is there such a diversity in the life of twins, in their actions, fortunes, deeds, callings, honors, and all such things pertaining to human life; is this a result of a tiny interval of time, even though they were conceived in the same moment?" Again Gregory the Great understands Astrology as superstition and foolishness - astrologers told him that a person born under the Aquarius sign was a fisherman, yet in the desert he has met Aquarians but never fishermen. In Persia where a child is born to a king and becomes a prince they say his star caused it so; but then he asks who can estimate how many slaves were born at the same time and moment as the king's? "And yet the sons of kings, born in the same hour as the slaves, go on to a kingdom, while slaves born together with them dies in slavery."
Astrology came from Babylonia over 4,000 year ago. It was based on the astronomical system that the sun revolves around the earth, not the earth revolves around the sun. The year was divided into 12 months, 6 having 30 days, 6 twenty nine thus making 354 days. So once in a while they would add a 13th month. What I'm leading to is this: a person born in April called Aries in our Gregorian calendar, in their calendar, should be a Pisces, and an Aquarian you see we are a month ahead. So all of that which you have been reading, should you have ever read Astrological things about yourself is wrong; wrong because you were in the wrong month. The Babylonian Astrological Calendar is a month behind ours.
Will Durant in his History of Civilization calls Astrology one of the many superstitions of ancient days which still flourish in our own day. But the stupidity of it all is best summed up by the immortal William Shakespeare: "This is the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune we make guilty of our disaster the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves and teachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence." St. Gregory of Nyssa, summing up the essential aspect of human dignity, rightly says if we are but instruments of heavenly rotation then we do not have free will. "And if man loses freedom, he loses everything." If man is not free, man is not man!
Haile Selassie I JAH RasTafari Lord of Lords and Savior